What Kind of Therapy is Best for Trauma Recovery?

Traumatic memories remain in the body, and the best way to heal from them is to find the right therapy. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a conditionally recommended treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on recognizing problematic thought patterns and working to change them, which then helps to change behavioral patterns. This treatment requires the person to attend weekly appointments to learn skills that can be used to control their symptoms.

Throughout the treatment, the person will practice the skills outside of the sessions. In the meantime, the supplier will be sure to address any obstacles and highlight progress. Standard CBT usually takes 12 to 16 weeks. Designed for children and adolescents, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) works to improve a variety of trauma-related outcomes in children.

This treatment lasts 8 to 25 sessions and the treatment involves both the child and a caregiver or a trusted adult. TF-CBT is one of the most effective trauma therapy methods available to help young people recover from post-traumatic stress disorder. TF-CBT addresses other trauma-related challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems. In addition, the caregiver or trusted adult can ease their distress over the child's traumatic event and learn effective parenting skills.

EMDR is different from most talk therapy. It does not require a person to explain their trauma in detail. Instead, the person will perform eye movements or hit with the eyes while focusing on an image related to the trauma. EMDR therapy helps a person to “unwind” so that their brain can go through its natural healing process.

It is designed to help a person quickly resolve traumatic memories. Unlike other therapies, it doesn't focus on changing trauma-related emotions, thoughts, or behaviors. EMDR therapy can often be completed in far fewer sessions than other talk therapies. There is no magic treatment that will cure you overnight, nor is there a form of psychotherapy that is right for everyone, but you should be able to find a therapist, as well as a therapeutic approach, that works for you.

It requires preparation, repeated practice, courage, determination, and the support of others, including that of a professional coach or therapist. The most common form of behavioral therapy is exposure. In exposure therapy, you gradually face your fears (for example, memories of a traumatic event) without the dreaded consequence. Often, this exposure causes the individual to learn that fear or negative emotion is unjustified, which in turn allows the fear to diminish.

Another form of behavioral therapy is stress inoculation training (SIT), also known as relaxation training. Stress Inoculation Training Teaches People to Manage Stress and Anxiety. In hypnotherapy, a therapist places you in a trance-like posture, where you're awake and aware, yet relaxed and able to eliminate distractions. Working with a therapist who is specifically trained or certified in one of these methods can help you resolve your trauma.

It's important to find a trauma therapist who empowers you and collaborates with you in your treatment rather than trying to impose control on you. If you feel like you can't trust your therapist, find another one that works better for your specific situation. Each approach is described in its purest form, but keep in mind that many therapists combine different types of therapies. This type of therapy usually takes place in about 12 sessions, during which you and your therapist work together to process what happened when talking or writing about the experience.

Recent studies have shown that meditation and yoga are useful complementary therapies for people with post-traumatic stress disorder. As such, trauma therapies focus on calming the nervous system, integrating traumatic memories, and supporting the healing of the mind and body.

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